As an expert in the field of recycling, I have seen firsthand the importance of finding new uses for waste materials. One of the most common methods used worldwide is mechanical recycling, which involves transforming waste into new materials without changing their chemical structures. This process is especially prevalent in the plastic industry, where it is used to recycle both industrial and household waste. On the other hand, internal recycling is the reuse of waste materials within a manufacturing process. This method is commonly used in the metal industry, where waste products from the manufacturing process are repurposed for future use.
This not only reduces waste but also saves resources and energy. Mechanical recycling involves several steps, including shredding, washing, separating, drying, regranulation, and compounding. These processes do not affect the chemical structure of the plastic, allowing it to be reused multiple times in the same or similar products. This type of recycling is particularly useful for polyolefins such as PE and PP. The end products of mechanical recycling can vary greatly and include garbage bags, floors, hoses, auto parts, and packages. By using this method, we can reduce our reliance on virgin materials and decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Another type of recycling that is gaining popularity is energy recycling.
This process involves converting plastics into thermal and electrical energy through incineration. The heat released during this process can be used as fuel and can help diversify the energy matrix in densely populated cities where space is limited. While energy recycling has its benefits, it also requires significant investment and commitment from public authorities. This method is widely used in Europe and Japan but has yet to gain widespread adoption in other parts of the world due to its financial sustainability.